by Paul Hooker

Blood runs in the streets.
Where shall we place the blame
when blood is blood, and death is death?
We descend into the flame.

“Abandon hope, ye who enter.”
We did that long ago, it seems.
Lucifer is our landlord;
we mortgage our bedraggled dreams.

Rage is our handmaiden
and violence our chosen part.
We know these paths; the weary way
from Ferguson to Charlotte

and on, God help us, on and on
to killing fields as yet unknown.
Shoot first and question later
is the moral of the gun.

When we look into each other’s eyes
and see their hate or fear,
is it not our own reflection
that seems to us most clear?